In December of 2020, the Maxar-built Sirius SXM-7 satellite was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with on-orbit testing started on January 4 of 2021. That’s apparently when the company noted some undisclosed failures of the satellite according to a securities filing by SiriusXM on January 27, 2021.
In the filing, SiriusXM stated, “During in-orbit testing of SXM-7, events occurred which have caused failures of certain SXM-7 payload units. An evaluation of SXM-7 is underway. The full extent of the damage to SXM-7 is not yet known. The SXM-7 was intended to supplement the existing fleet of SiriusXM satellites. Construction of our SXM-8 satellite is underway and that satellite is expected to be launched into a geostationary orbit later this year.”
Troubleshooting the satellite’s difficulties is involving Sirius XM as well as Maxar as both diagnose the current situation and then the extent of damage to the satellite will be evaluated. SiriusXM has notified the insurance underwriter of a potential claim, as the firm carried a $225 million in aggregate insure for this satellite.